I started using Smashwords last spring, back when the aptly-named Meatgrinder took days to spit out your manuscript in all its formats. This was mostly due to the popularity of Smashwords and the very long queues. Today with demand and their hardware/software updates Smashwords is a powerhouse, a fabulous service for authors. Yesterday I wanted an epub version of my new novel for a reviewer. I tried to use Calibre, which I’ve had for awhile. The epub version came out wonky so I decided to just upload the ms to Smashwords and use their versions. In a matter of minutes, plus a few tweaks and re-uploads, I had a decidedly better version and it went off in the ether to the reviewer. (I then “unpublished” the book to wait for the real publication date. See JUMP CUT- above.)
What is Smashwords doing right? All kinds of things, but mostly making the world of Sony, Apple, Diesel, and Kobo available to the independent author. Here is the slide show Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords, gave last weekend at a writers conference in California. It would have been nice to hear him too, but, well, you can still get the message.